Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are defined by IUCN as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits."

This paper: reviews of some of the recent literature on NbS; presents an analysis of 30 GEF NbS projects, and similar analyses by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation of their NbS projects; and the outcomes of a workshop held in May 2020 with 40 experts from philanthropy, academia, NGOs, GEF Secretariat and agencies, and STAP, held in conjunction with WCS and the Moore Foundation.

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Over the last 6 months, STAP has reviewed what a science and technology perspective can contribute to the GEF’s thinking about replenishment for GEF-8.

A brief review of the latest science on global environmental change leads to two compelling conclusions. 

First, the drivers of global change have contributed to increased systemic risk, despite good intentions and some positive progress. The bottom line is that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, as is the rate of biodiversity loss, there is still net land degradation, aquifers are being depleted, waste is increasing, most fisheries are overfished, and ocean pollution is becoming more pervasive.  

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Technology critical elements (TCEs), including rare earth elements, the platinum group elements, and other relatively scarce metals, are essential for many emerging and green technologies, including renewable energy, energy security, energy storage, electronics, and urban development, and agriculture. However, the extraction of TCEs can have potentially harmful effects on ecosystems and human health when released into the environment. This STAP report provides a review of the benefits and the cost of... Read More

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The Global Environment Facility (GEF) seeks to address the root causes and consequences of global environmental change by transforming markets and behaviors:  unsustainable practices and behaviors are at the heart of the drivers of global environmental change, and responding to these can help to transform systems. To strengthen the GEF’s project and program design by explicitly embedding behavior change strategies, STAP developed an Advisory Document, “Why behavior change matters to the GEF and what to do about it”, based on one of the many behavior change frameworks reported in the literature. Developed by Rare, this framework has six particular strategic levers, three of these have been used traditionally - material... Read More

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The GEF's chemicals and waste focal area's objectives are strongly interlinked with those of other focal areas. The production, use, and management of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are major drivers of biodiversity loss, climate change, land degradation, and impact on international waters. Chemicals and waste are also interlinked with socio-economic issues, including human health, food security, poverty, gender equality, and economic improvements. Hence, the sound management of chemicals will deliver multiple benefits across all of GEF's focal areas; and yield other environmental benefits outside of GEF's focal areas and provide socio-economic gains. This STAP advisory... Read More